Legal Alert: Game Changing Bill on California’s Internet Gaming

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In hopes of infusing much-needed revenues into California’s state treasury, Senators Rod Wright and Darrell Steinberg introduced SB 1463 in the California Legislature on Friday, February 24, 2012. The new bill would legalize online gambling, with poker as the only game allowed for the first two years.

If it passes, online gambling is expected to become a lucrative industry, as the bill hopes to “provide hundreds of millions of dollars annually for the public services that have been cut repeatedly during the state’s budget crisis.” SB 1463, however, only allows three types of entities to obtain a license to operate an intrastate Internet gambling website: (1) current owners of a state gambling license who have held it in good standing with the California Gambling Control Commission for the last three years; (2) Indian tribes; and (3) racing associations and advance deposit wagering sites in good standing for the last three years with the California Horse Racing Board. The bill provides that every applicant be thoroughly investigated by the California Department of Justice. The application for a license would be anywhere between $1 million to $5 million.

Please see full alert below for more information.

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